Just a quick note for your Friday.
Jesus pretty much lays out the terms here. If:
1) We believe that the universe has a cause, rather than being a random accident,
2) We believe that cause is an all-powerful Being greater than the universe, rather than being a part of it,
3) We believe that All-powerful transcending Being is the God as described in the Bible, and not the gods of other religions,
4) We believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of that God, and not simply the creation of men
5) We believe that Jesus truly is the God-Man, God who became Man to save men from sin, and not a lunatic,
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Him.
There is no other way. No other truth than what He gave No other life worth living. No man-made religion, no other path, no other Savior exists to bring man to God. “There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved”.
Food for thought on a Friday.
Apart from Jesus, you can do nothing. Little commentary is needed here. As the Vine, Jesus gives life and support to us, the branches. We must remain firmly rooted in the Vine in order for us to have access to that life. Thus nothing that furthers the Kingdom, Nothing that matters can be done apart from Christ. We cannot do His work without Him.
That makes me wonder about the kind of work I am doing. Am I doing something that advances the Kingdom? Does my work means anything? I admit that work can and is often often done without Christ’s involvement. Many people who are not believers do good work. So what is Jesus talking about here?
I think that if you are looking for life-giving work, and not life-sapping work, you need to involve Jesus. If you want to be energized about what you do, you need to involve Jesus, involve His teaching and His grace, His love and joy. If Jesus is not involved, you fee like you are spinning your wheels, running like a hamster accomplishing nothing. Every victory seems hollow and empty. Life has no meaning. Apart from Jesus you really can do nothing, and it feels like it.
Keep Jesus wherever you go. Abide in Him and He will abide in you.
There can be only One. So said the Highlander series just a few years ago. Of all the immortals, they had to fight each other to the death (ironic much?) to determine who would be the One. Not sure why that was. It seems awfully selfish to be the only immortal, especially when every other mortal seems like the only people you could actually relate to. Well.
Without the irony, Scripture says that there can be only One Savior. The irony of this verse was that predicted that she would be the One and Only Savior. However, this is based on the idea that He is the only sacrifice for sin, which he had yet to do when He said this. Yet, by the time this story was written down, He had died for all men and become the One and Only Savior. Confused yet? Don’t worry about. Jesus knew he would die for the sins of men on the cross and He believed it so strongly that He spoke of it as inevitable.
Jesus Christ is the only One qualified to be the object of our faith. No one else died for sin as He did. No one else rose from the dead as He did. There is no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved. On Him we all stand or fall. Every knee will bow before Him. Some gladly.
When looking at this verse, I realize that the only part of this verse that can be proven historically is that a man named Jesus from Nazareth died on a cross nearly 2000 years ago. While that seems like a long time ago, it is easier to prove than the exodus of Israel from Egypt or the Flood of Noah.
The rest of this verse depends not only on the crucifixion, but another piece which isn’t mentioned, the resurrection. That too can be proven historically beyond a reasonable doubt. With these two points in hand, what can we say about the others?
Jesus is the author and perfected of our faith. – because Jesus rose from the dead, He is the first to both predict his resurrection but also to fulfill it. While there are other resurrected god stories out there (i.e., Osiris), we actually have historical evidence that His is true. There are a number of eye-witnesses, there documents recording their varied accounts. A number of eye-witnesses, On threat of death, refused to recant their faith in the living Christ. Then there is the Shroud of Turin, whose image was burned into by an amazing heat that cannot be explained by natural means. This One is the author of our faith. He started it by rising from the dead. He perfects it by continuing to work in us today as the living Christ. I can accept by reason that He is alive. I accept by faith that He continues to live and mentor me today.
Jesus now sits at the right hand of God. – This one is harder to prove, but not impossible. In His life in earth, Jesus claimed often to be the Son of God. He performed many miracles which established His power over creation like His Father. When he died and rise again, he established that even death had no hold over him. By these evidences, He has proven He is the Son of God, God in flesh. So it is not much of s stretch to believe by faith, though we can’t see it, that today He sits at God’s right hand, a position of favor with His Father.
Evidence? Far more reliable than the reasoned suppositions offered by others. It is far easier to prove God exists in an ordered, physical universe than to prove He doesn’t. What kind of God He is can be found in the pages of Scripture. While we may not agree with the Christian God, that doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. I am grateful for a God who loved me enough to save me before I was ever born.
Thank you God.
Though not a day we celebrate, on some calendars you will find today labeled as Easter Monday because it follows Easter. Today’s selection comes from Psalm 22, the first verse of which is quoted by Jesus in the cross. (Just consider that in the midst of his final hours, Jesus is quoting texts of ancient literature. That’s my Jesus!) He most likely makes this reference because Psalm 22:2 accurately reflects exactly how he’s feeling. He feels forsaken by God and afflicted, just as Isaiah 53 predicted.
But Psalm 22 takes a journey of its own. From the first verse to the last, the Psalm goes from lament to praise. The Psalmist laments his condition, in many ways prefiguring Christ’s own suffering. But then he speaks of the presence of the Lord, the worship in His holy Temple, and that at the last, generations will speak of the Lord’s praise and deliverance.
And here we are, the generations to be born are reading this blog today. They are reading about what the Lord has done in raising s dead man to life. Despite all the arguments that it can’t be done, today we serve a risen Savior. Sure I apprehend these things by faith, but faith based on evidence. There is more evidence for Jesus than for Socrates.
Let us tell today about the risen Savior. It may be Monday, but Jesus is still just as risen as He was yesterday. Let us celebrate His resurrection everyday.
Happy Easter! From Romans 5:
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath.
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life?
Do you believe this?
Jesus’ question to Martha in John 11 was not an idle one. For her faith in this fact, faith in Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life is crucial to her own eternity, as well as her brother’s. It is crucial to yours. You see as Romans says above, this deaths and resurrection is essential to our own eternity. If God had not shown His love for us through the death of His own Son, Jesus Christ, we could not share in His Resurrection. Only through Christ can you be born again.
Do you believe this?
Nearly 2000 years ago, the Son of God was hung upon a cross. He died there in the most cruel means of that time. He suffered more anyone, because He also bore the sins of the world, and experienced God’s wrath for all sin for all time, One who knew no sin. Through His death, we may live. Through His resurrection three days later, we too understand that death cannot hold us either.
Do you believe this?
If you do, and if you’ve repented of your sins, confessed the name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and received baptism in His name, then you also will share in His Life. You will receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, the gift of forgiveness of your sins, and Eternal Life.
God bless you today as you continue in your journey.